Indie films have always had a special place in the hearts of film enthusiasts. These movies, often made with limited budgets and without the backing of major studios, have a unique ability to tell poignant and thought-provoking stories. And despite facing tough competition from big-budget blockbusters, indie films continue to thrive, offering audiences fresh perspectives and unique storytelling techniques.
As we enter the second half of 2021, it’s the perfect time to uncover some hidden gems in the world of indie cinema. From heart-wrenching dramas to quirky comedies, there’s no shortage of exceptional indie films out there just waiting to be discovered. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the best indie films of 2021 and why they should not be missed.
“The Sound of Metal” directed by Darius Marder is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates powerful performances and heart-wrenching storytelling. The film follows Ruben, a heavy metal drummer played by Riz Ahmed, who loses his hearing and struggles to come to terms with his new reality. The film beautifully portrays Ruben’s journey as he tries to find meaning in his life without music, with the help of his deaf girlfriend Lou played by Olivia Cooke. Ahmed’s performance is striking, and the use of sound in the film is masterfully done, immersing the audience in Ruben’s perspective. “The Sound of Metal” is a poignant and emotional exploration of loss, acceptance, and human connection.
Another indie film that has received critical acclaim is “Minari” directed by Lee Isaac Chung. The film follows a Korean-American family who moves to Arkansas in the 1980s to start a new life. The story revolves around the family’s struggles to adapt to their new surroundings and the tension between traditional Korean values and the American dream. “Minari” is a heartwarming tale of family, identity, and the pursuit of the American dream. The film’s stellar cast, including Steven Yeun and Yuh-Jung Youn, deliver exceptional performances, making “Minari” a must-see in 2021.
For those looking for a more light-hearted and comedic indie film, “Promising Young Woman” directed by Emerald Fennell is a top pick. The film follows Cassie, played by Carey Mulligan, a woman seeking revenge against the men who wronged her best friend in college. “Promising Young Woman” is a satirical take on rape culture, with Mulligan delivering a fierce and enthralling performance. The film is a bold and thought-provoking commentary on the treatment of women in society and has sparked many important conversations since its release.
“The Father” directed by Florian Zeller is a heartbreaking drama that follows an elderly man, played by Anthony Hopkins, struggling with dementia. The film takes us on a journey through the eyes of the protagonist, showcasing the confusion and disorientation that comes with this debilitating disease. Hopkins delivers a raw and powerful performance, capturing the audience’s sympathy and leaving a lasting impression long after the credits roll. “The Father” is a poignant and heart-wrenching portrayal of the effects of dementia on both the individual and their loved ones.
Moving on to a more unconventional and offbeat indie film, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” directed by Charlie Kaufman is a mind-bending and thought-provoking mystery. The film follows a young woman named Lucy, played by Jessie Buckley, on a road trip with her boyfriend Jake, played by Jesse Plemons, to meet his parents. However, as the trip unfolds, things take a surreal and eerie turn, leaving the audience questioning what is real and what is not. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is a psychological rollercoaster that will leave you questioning your own perception of reality.
Another indie gem that should not be overlooked is “Saint Maud” directed by Rose Glass. The film follows a hospice nurse, played by Morfydd Clark, who becomes increasingly obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient. “Saint Maud” is a slow-burn horror film that is both chilling and thought-provoking. Clark’s performance is captivating, and the film’s haunting atmosphere will stay with you long after it’s over.
Last but certainly not least, “The World to Come” directed by Mona Fastvold is a visually stunning and emotionally gripping love story set in the 19th century. The film follows two women, played by Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby, who find solace and love in each other’s company while living on isolated farms. “The World to Come” beautifully captures the intensity and passion of their relationship, while also shedding light on the struggles faced by women in that time period.
Indie films continue to provide a refreshing and unique perspective on storytelling in the world of cinema. And 2021 has been no exception, with these hidden gems and many more capturing the hearts of audiences and critics alike. So, don’t miss out on these indie masterpieces, and keep an eye out for more hidden gems yet to be discovered in the second half of 2021.